Ever since Sister Wives first premiered on TLC in 2010, fans have witnessed Kody and Meri Brown’s relationship evolve greatly. As season 10 premieres on January 5, we’re taking a look back at their marriage and how the two have overcome many setbacks together.
Their marriage began in 1990 when Meri married Kody when she was was just 19 years old. Meri had remained Kody’s only wife for three years until he married Janelle in 1993. And while at the time, Meri was Kody’s only legal spouse, from the beginning, their union has faced difficulties.
After having their daughter Mariah in 1995, the couple struggled with infertility. They had apparently kept trying to conceive, but in 2012, Meri revealed on the show that she had suffered a miscarriage in 2008.
“I was so frustrated and so angry. I didn’t understand why, after another 12 years of trying, and then, it was just taken away from us. I didn’t understand that. It was really hard,” Meri said on a Sister Wives episode.
Meri and Kody Brown in 2012.
A year later, Kodi and Meri grappled with the question of trying to have a child again when Robyn, Kody’s fourth wife, offered to be a surrogate for them. But despite Kody initially wanting Meri to accept Robyn’s offer, he ultimately decided against it. Meri, on the other hand, had wanted to give it a try.
“I had actually planned to tell him I wanted to start (the process of having a baby),” a teary-eyed Meri confessed. But after hearing Kody’s thoughts on the matter, she said, “it just is what it is.”
In 2014, they faced another challenge. Meri agreed to legally divorce Kody that year so that he could officially marry Robyn, which would then make it possible for him to adopt her three children from a previous marriage.
During a Tell-All episode, Meri explained how she had “mixed emotions” about the decision to “legally restructure” their family. Still, she seemed hopeful that her and Kody’s spiritual connection would endure.
Robyn (left), Meri (center), and Kody (right) in 2012.
“It’s an end of something that we had had, in a way, for 24-and-a-half years,” Meri said in 2015. “But at the same time, I know it’s not, because I have eternity with him; I have eternity with the family. I know it’s not the end.”
Complicating things further, however, Meri got catfished in 2015. According to InTouch Weekly, after legally divorcing Kody, the reality star got involved in an online romance with who she thought was a man named Sam Cooper. As it turns out though, it was a woman named Jackie Overton. After revealing her true identity, Jackie went on to write a book, under the name Sam Cooper, called Almost Meri’ed, detailing their six-month cyber affair. The suitor also leaked voicemails that Meri supposedly left her.
The catfishing scandal undoubtedly put a strain on Kody and Meri’s connection. “This catfish was planting things in my head and telling me how horrible my family was and specifically how horrible Kody was,” she said during a 2016 episode.
But following the incident, Meri told People that she, Kody, Robyn, Janelle, and Christine (Kody’s third wife) were “holding strong” and working through it together.
“My family was very concerned for our safety and angry that we had been targeted,” she said. “They were relieved once I told them what was really going on and saddened that I had been so afraid of involving them that I didn’t go to them sooner.”
Thankfully, things have been looking up more in recent years. After Meri opened Lizzie’s Heritage Inn (despite Kody’s reluctance) in late 2017, Kody tweeted that his wife’s new bed and breakfast was “magical” and “captivating.” What’s more, in early 2018, Kody and Meri reportedly brought Robyn’s son Solomon along for a movie date night. Then, a few months later, Meri posted on Instagram that Kody had flown out to Chicago to be with her on their anniversary while she traveled for work.
Most recently, Meri shared a photo on Instagram of herself, Kody, and her fellow sister wives looking as happy as ever celebrating Thanksgiving, indicating that the family is still going strong.
Meanwhile, Kody seemed ready to move on during last season’s tell-all part one episode. It was then he revealed that he and Meri were “dating” again.
“We are steadily moving in a direction where we’re fully mended,” Kody said. “This is like a new beginning, the past is in the past.”
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